Sol Melia Mai Khao
Owner | Operator : Phuket Villa Group Co.,Ltd.
Location : Phuket
Date : 2014
Concept : Water is vital to all life: it is the genesis and  regenerative source for man’s existence.  We come from  the sea and we return to the sea; for relaxation and  contemplation. Water is often an analogy to movement, a  passage or journey.  Therefore, the organizing concept  for this Mai Khao Beach Resort is: water, the regenerative  and life substance for man and all life form.

The master planning concept is envisioned as a series of  sequentially layered forms and spaces organized and  shaped by the passage of water creating a journey to and  from the sea.  Water courtyards and changing archi- tectural forms provide compression spaces and contem- plative spaces. Water gardens, lap pools, rooftop gardens  provide a transformative and healing environment  suitable for a long and re-generative stay.

BACKGROUND: The owner has requested a concept for  a five-star resort and spa with a mixture of guest suites  and private villas.  The site is set on the beach of Mai  Khao Beach, Phuket Thailand known for its wide beaches,  strong westerly winds, powerful currents and leatherback  turtle hatching grounds.  The site area is approximately  20 Rai in size and beach front property.  The beach  frontage is approx. 17 meters wide and extending back  bottle shaped more than 400 meters. The narrow beach  front creates a challenging design problem and therefore,  the master planning concept of water and journey.

FORM / SPACE: The master plan design conceptually  draws water from the sea into the site to provide a beach  environment by a series of water courtyards as an organ- izing master plan strategy. Capillary, static and active  water features are the cohesive and organizing force,  spatially, visually and functionally.   To create a journey and resort environment, open space  is necessary and necessitated a two story villa concept.  Water courts at intervals, like the frequency of waves, de- fine and form the architecture compromised of hotel  blocks and two story villa structures. Water is the neg- ative space to the geometrically cubic architecture. The  first water court defines the hotel blocks and is the main,  family oriented pool. The second is contemplative and a  more adult, quiet pool garden. The 25 meter lap pool is
near the king villa.  The last or beach pool is 50 meters in  length with the beach club, spa and private Salas.

LANDSCAPE: The water features are the dominate land- scape features.  Water is unique in that it is the only  natural substance found in (3) three states: Liquid, solid  and gas.  These manifest themselves in the design as:
Horizontal water/pools/roofs        = liquid
Vertical falls                = solid state
Misting irrigation       = gas

Topographical level changes between structures eleva- tions will enhance the journey experience and the privacy  between the resort functions and different room types.   Local drought and wind resistant trees and ground covers  will be arranged to reinforce the cubic geometrical char- acteristics of the architecture.  Hard-scape planting will  be varying textured stone, gravel and grasses